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Drive Win on Thornton's Go-Ahead Bucket

December 12, 2018 - NBA G League (G League) - Grand Rapids Drive News Release

GRAND RAPIDS - Marcus Thornton hit a game-winning layup with five seconds remaining in his first game back in the G League to help the Grand Rapids Drive (6-9) snap their six-game losing streak and defeat the Texas Legends (6-11) by a 101-99 final at home on Wednesday night. It was the fifth straight loss for the Legends, who fell on the losing end of a matchup of two teams looking to end skids.

Thornton scored 17 points off the bench for the shorthanded Drive, who had just eight players available for the game and neither of their two-way players. Johnny Hamilton led the team in scoring and rebounding for the second game in a row, finishing with 21 points and 14 rebounds and recording his third straight double-double. Scottie Lindsey scored 19 points with nine rebounds, and Speedy Smith was another key factor as he returned from a five-game absence due to a groin injury and provided 10 points and 10 assists for Grand Rapids.

Despite falling just short, Texas got big performances from Rashad Vaughn and Ray Spalding. Vaughn scored 29 points (making seven three-pointers) with seven rebounds, and the Legends outscored the Drive by 14 points in his 35 minutes. Spalding impacted both ends of the floor with 20 points and 15 rebounds despite shooting just 6-of-15 from the free throw line. Daryl Macon also posted 14 points, five rebounds and six assists for the Legends and Keith Hornsby scored 12 points.

It was an exciting, back-and-forth contest where neither team managed a double-digit lead for the entire game. The Grand Rapids defense was the biggest factor in the win, as they allowed just 39 points in the second half, their second-best total of the season. The Drive opted to foul Spalding heavily in the fourth quarter, as he shot 4-of-10 from the line in the final 12 minutes.

Smith's return also boosted the Drive to record more assists than their opponent for the first time since their losing streak started. They also set a new season high by blocking 11 shots, as Hamilton and Todd Withers each blocked four and Adam Woodbury had three as well.

The Drive will stay at home and look to avenge an earlier loss to Raptors 905 in their next game, which will be on Friday night. The Legends will host the Austin Spurs for their next contest, also on Friday night.

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